Navy SEALs spend a lot of time training on the beach - the same beaches that are essential for many nesting shorebirds. According to the Los Angeles Times, the SEALs and the birds get along well on a training stretch of Silver Strand beach in Coronado, California, however, so much so that the SEALs recently spent time cleaning the beach to benefit the birds. The SEALs, along with sailors and Marines, collected more than a dozen cubic yards of trash, much of it likely washed ashore from civilian litter, but some definitely from their own training exercises.
The goal was to create a more suitable habitat for nesting western snowy plovers and California least terns, two species that regularly nest in the area. When nests are located, they are visually marked and military training leaders are given maps to indicate nest locations in order to minimize any impact from training exercises.
Do you think more military teams should undertake environmental cleanup of their training areas? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Photo © Christopher Menzie